An often-wild and volatile indicator of economic prosperity is consumer spending. As the global recession hit, shopping centers, and especially their developers, hit hard times financially, struggling as spending and consumer confidence plummeted. Yet, development continues to take place, in both developed and developing nations.
While shopping center construction in "mature markets" like Western Europe and the United States continues to drop, as Retail Traffic Magazine's Beth Mattson-Teig reports, "[d]evelopers are adopting more aggressive strategies in order to compete in emerging markets where shopping center construction is flourishing. Development is very active in emerging markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Latin America."
But what does that mean for "mature markets"? Though construction has been limited, construction has been, according to Mattson-Teig, "on the redevelopment, repositioning or expansion of existing centers. Across Western Europe, expansions of existing centers account for 30 percent of the pipeline for 2012 and 2013." In the U.K., that number increases to 45 percent.
So, while shopping center construction remains a boon in developing nations, "[d]evelopers are focusing on infill locations in top markets with strong market demographics and traffic counts."